Inflicting Pain and Forgiveness

This is a repost for all those struggling with pain and forgiveness. When the pain eases we can see more clearly. 
pain

If I were to ask you “Do you go around inflicting pain on to others?”

Most of you would answer with a vehement NO!

That’s because the idea of being a mean person or a bully is simply not acceptable to us. We cannot see ourselves in contradiction to our beliefs and values. Its our protective ego that cannot face the possibility. It holds on strong to its belief about how we appear in the world… and what is acceptable to ourselves.

Yet, when we take time to pause and reflect, most of us do unintentionally inflict pain on others.
Consider if you have done any of these:

Not seen someone who wants to be acknowledged.
Forgetting to call.
Making judgments.
Withholding.
Getting distracted.
Being late.
Withdrawing.
Holding on to resentment.
Sticking to a particular way of doing things.
Stonewalling.
Acting out in anger.
Holding on to your beliefs.

All of these actions can cause pain for others.

We may tell ourselves its not our fault or we are protecting ourselves. After all, it may not be our intention to cause pain. However, the outcome is, that we do.

In the same way, we feel pain when others act in this way towards us.

How many times have you felt hurt by someone because of one or more of the above actions?

It is the nature of human beings to be egocentric and self protective. And when we are, we are capable of inflicting pain on others. We are all imperfectly human – no matter how hard we try to be perfectly in control.

When we accept this, we can begin to forgive ourselves and others. This is a huge step on life’s journey to finding real peace of mind.

Follow this link to a Forgiveness Meditation which will guide you towards forgiveness and peace.

After all, we are only human. Despite our failings we are also filled with love … and a capacity to forgive.

 

Loving Forgiveness

The most powerful wisdom is always worth coming back to. Again and again. May we find our way to peace. 🙏

ooOoo

Forgiveness is a powerful and empowering act, as it opens our hearts to ourselves and others. Finding a way to forgive is healing and freeing.

This is a three part meditation on forgiveness that I learned during my teacher training at Kripalu. All three parts should be read, preferably out loud.

May it touch your heart, bring some healing and peace.

be at peace

 

  • Part 1 Extending Forgiveness to Yourself:

I allow myself to be imperfect.


I allow myself to make mistakes.


I allow myself to be a learner, still learning life’s lessons.


I forgive myself.


If I cannot forgive myself now, may I forgive myself sometime in the future.

  • Part 2 Asking forgiveness from others for the harm that you’ve done to them:

Please allow me to be imperfect.


Please allow me to make mistakes.


Please allow me to be a learner, still learning life’s lessons.


Please forgive me.


If you cannot forgive me now, please try to forgive me sometime in the future.

  • Part 3 Extending forgiveness for those who have harmed you:

Just as I allow myself to be imperfect, so I allow you to be imperfect.

I allow you also to make mistakes.


I allow you to be a learner, still learning life’s lessons.


I forgive you. 

If I cannot forgive you now, may I forgive you sometime in the future.

 

As you come to the end of this loving forgiveness meditation, take a few moments and allow the words to absorb into your consciousness.

What do you notice in your body, mind and sense of being?

What is your relationship with whatever is coming up?

Can you be with it?

… and breathe.

Allow it to be.

Namaste

* First Step to Forgiveness

So many of life’s experiences challenge us and give us the opportunity to learn and grow – especially in relationship to others and getting to know our authentic selves. As we grow in awareness, we take responsibility for all our experiences and our feelings. With patience and practice we stop blaming others and learn to look inside ourselves instead, with curiosity and compassion.

power struggle

This is the first step in being able to forgive. In order to truly forgive an other we must  take responsibility for our own feelings. We have to own how we feel and acknowledge all that is going on inside of us.

Although someone else has said or done something that distresses us, these are our feelings.

The action of the other has triggered a tender vulnerable part of us. When we become reactive and defensive, we lose touch with the real issue (what we are feeling) and it becomes all about them.

This triggered reaction is part of our survival mechanism. Yet it is our ego and smaller self that defends and holds on to resentment. Our heart and higher Self only wants to love.

We can’t make anyone else change, but we can change ourselves. We do that by acknowledging what is happening, shifting our thinking… and letting go of the need to be right.

Owning our feelings is one of the most important steps in growing from an adult into a loving mature human being.

The next time you feel resentment towards someone else, bring your attention inwards instead. Ask yourself:

“Do I really want to feel this way?”

“What is really happening here?”

“How have I contributed to this?”

“What is my heart telling me?”

“What do I need to let go of?”

… “Am I ready to forgive?”

Namaste

* Learning to Forgive

forgiveness

Revenge is the desire to get even when someone does you wrong. It’s natural to feel angry, however, holding on to the grievance and “punishing” the other person closes your heart and contracts your body and spirit. In this state of contraction you lose touch with the goodness within you. Research also shows that revenge increases stress and impairs health and immunity.
When we are unable to forgive we create dis-ease and illness. 

Forgiveness is giving up the desire to punish someone or yourself for an offense. We let go of judging the person who caused the hurt. Instead of revenge and resentment we choose understanding and kindness. In forgiveness, we don’t forget that the offense occurred nor do we excuse it. Forgiveness is a choice and act of will to free ourselves.

 “To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.” – Louis B. Smedes

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.” – Paul Boese

“Without forgiveness life is governed by… an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.” – Roberto Assagioli

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – The Buddha
letting go of the pastHere are 4 steps that have worked for me in working through forgiving myself or an other:

1. Acknowledge what happened and let yourself feel the anger and the hurt. We must feel anger before we can begin to forgive. You can’t rush forgiveness.  If something has happened some time ago, your distress is coming from the thoughts within you now, not from what offended or hurt you in the past.
It is your current thinking that is causing more and more struggle. You have the power to change your thoughts.

2. Make a decision to forgive or not. Do I want to hold on to resentment or let it go? Do I really want to feel like this? We are under no obligation or pressure to forgive. However, holding a grudge becomes a debilitating drain on our health and can poison our outlook on life. We become a prisoner to it.
When we truly forgive, we are doing it for our own sake, not the other person’s. It is the most important step in healing ourselves from the hurt of the past.
Forgiving brings us the gift of peace.

3. Seek to understand. Can I see the other person’s perspective or point of view? You don’t need to accept or agree with them at all. Remember that we all want to be happy. To be loved and accepted. How we go about it is based on our own life experiences and upbringing. A bully has almost always been bullied themselves.
People who are causing us pain are usually in pain. This is the human condition.

4. Shift your own perspective. What do I want this pain to turn into? Instead of going over in your mind why something happened, or how horrible the actions were, visualize what your life will be like after the pain is gone.
Start seeking ways to get what you want. Look for love, beauty and kindness around you. Its there!

let it goForgiving and letting go is an act of will and an act of courage.

By letting go of the anger and resentment within you and replacing it with kindness, you become free. Free to be you – and no longer a victim defined by an other’s actions.

Namaste

* Break the Chain

This message came round on Facebook this morning. I wanted to share with you too. Val x

break the hurt chain

“Hurt people hurt people.

That’s how pain patterns get passed on, generation after generation.

Break the chain today.

Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness.

Greet grimaces with smiles.

Forgive and forget about finding fault.

Love is the weapon of the future.”

Yehuda Berg

Break the chain

Break the chain and break free

 

* Forgive and Let Go

“The day a child realizes that all adults are imperfect, he becomes an adolescent;

the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult;

the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.” – Alden Nowlan

forgive and let go

Much has been written about forgiveness – forgiving others for an offense or hurt in the past, and forgiving ourselves for something we feel ashamed of. Whether its about external or internal forgiveness, it seems to come down to one important key … Our ability to let go.

I’ve discovered in my interactions and conversations with others, that the more we tend to try to control and want things in a certain way, the harder it can be to forgive.

Forgiveness and an ability to let go, seem to go hand in hand.

I wonder how this resonates with you. Do you find it relatively easy to forgive in a world that is constantly changing? Do you live in shades of colors and gray rather than black and white? Can you empathise easily with others?

Or do you find it almost impossible to forgive when you have been wronged? Do you also see the world in terms of a right way and a wrong way. Do you rush to judge others as good and bad or want to find who is to blame?

Let me know if my theory stands up in real life!

Here are the 4 steps that have worked for me in working through forgiving myself or an other:

1. Acknowledge what happened and the hurt. Your distress is coming from the thoughts within you now, not from what offended or hurt you in the past.
“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” – The Buddha

2. Make a decision to forgive or not. Do I want to hold on to resentment or let it go? Do I want to feel like this? We are under no obligation or pressure to forgive. However, holding a grudge becomes a debilitating drain on our health and can poison our outlook on life. We become a prisoner to it.
When we truly forgive, we are doing it for our sake, not the other person’s. It is the most important step in healing ourselves from the hurt of the past. Forgiving brings us the gift of peace.

forgive and be at peace

3. Seek to understand. Can I see the other person’s perspective or point of view? You don’t need to accept or agree with them at all. Remember that we all want to be happy. To be loved and accepted. How we go about it is based on our own life experiences and upbringing. A bully has almost always been bullied themselves. People who are causing us pain are usually in pain. This is the human condition.

4. Shift your own perspective. What do I want this pain to turn into? Instead of going over in your mind why something happened, or how horrible the actions were, visualize what your life will be like after the pain is gone.
Start seeking ways to get what you want. Look for love, beauty and kindness around you. Its there!

Forgiving and letting go is an act of will and an act of courage.

By letting go of the anger and resentment within you and replacing it with compassion for yourself, you become free. Free to be you – and no longer a victim defined by an other’s actions.

Namaste

The Secret to Inner Peace ….

I love this perspective from philosopher, author and blogger James Need. There are 3 key elements for us to connect with that will bring inner peace. Take a few quiet moments to really absorb these words into your being.

Understand – Accept – Forgivewinter road

Understand that everything that happens to you is to help you learn and grow, even if you don’t agree with it. Understand that, even though people may do things you don’t agree with, it is part of their learning experience.

Accept that this needed to happen exactly the way it happened in order to cause you to get to this new place of understanding. If things you don’t like hadn’t have happened, you wouldn’t be who you are today. So relax and accept that this moment is exactly as it needs to be.

Forgiveness is true wisdom. To forgive is to understand why all things happen the way they do, to be able to see with clarity and understanding the learning opportunity in every moment. Forgiving yourself, others, and the world, understanding that all things happen exactly as they’re supposed too.

Remember it is only your resistance to the present moment that causes you to feel any pain. So be easy on yourself and others, move into acceptance and enjoy this magical experience…

Thank you James!

* A Self Love Inspiration for Today

“The time will come

when, with elation,

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror,

and each will smile at the others welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.

blue door to our true nature

You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread, Give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored

for another, who knows you by heart.

Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image from the mirror.

Sit. Feast on your life.”

– Derek Walcott, “Love After Love” 1974

No matter what has happened in the past, all your past experiences have brought you to this present moment.

Let this awareness open your heart in loving kindness and gratitude.

Now is the time to come home.

Find your Self waiting with open arms.